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Ipswich teenager releases song about bullying to mark World Mental Health day

PUBLISHED: 12:43 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 10 October 2018

A powerful image of Roma with the words bullies called her. Picture: CHRIS SILVESTER

A powerful image of Roma with the words bullies called her. Picture: CHRIS SILVESTER

A young singer-songwriter from Ipswich has released a song called ‘Stronger’ to raise awareness of the effects of bullying on World Mental Health day.

Today, people around the world are coming together to break down the stigma surrounding mental health – and this year’s focus is on ensuring there is enough support for young people.

Roma Nicholson, 13, has been the victim of bullying since she was 11 and had to move schools because of the troubles she was having with abusive peers.

With the help of Roma’s photographer friend Chris Silvester, the pair have recorded a powerful song to raise awareness of mental health through the power of music.

Roma, who lives in Pinewood, said: “We wrote the song to inspire people to be brave and strong and to take a stand against anyone that bullies you.”

Roma's debut album 'Teen Spirit' will be released on October 28. Picture: CHRIS SILVESTERRoma's debut album 'Teen Spirit' will be released on October 28. Picture: CHRIS SILVESTER

Things have improved for Roma, her mother Rosa Manteiga added: “She’s at a happier school, she’s so much stronger in herself, and there’s been a complete change in her attitude.

“She has gone from a grey clouded person to a confident and happy child who ignores the bullies and believes she has a real purpose in life to help others in her position,” continued Ms Manteiga, who says she struggled to get Roma to attend school on a daily basis.

The homemade video that accompanies the song showcases a powerful image of Roma with the words of hate she received at the height of her bullying, such as ‘drama queen’, ‘useless’ and ‘loner’.

But now Roma is a completely different person according to her mother, and is focussed on the positives and tries her best to ignore the bullies – even though it’s claimed they continue to attend her gigs.

This year alone, Rosa has raised over £4,000 for local charities through her music and she hopes her debut album will help her total donations of £8,000 keep on climbing.

The song is being used by BT communications globally in their knowledge call at 2pm today, to raise awareness about mental health at work.

Graham Carrington from BT, who is a big fan of Roma and lives in Ipswich, said: “The song lyrics are really powerful and the song is really catchy, so our staff will remember it.

“It’s truly inspirational to see a teenager raise awareness of mental health through music.”

The song features on her debut album, Teen Spirit, which will be released on Sunday, October 28 with a launch party at The Railway Pub in Ipswich.

The album will raise funds for local charities, 4YP Suffolk Mental Health Project, EACH hospice and the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter.

Roma now attends a Girls’ Group on Monday evenings as a part of the Suffolk Young People’s Health Project (4YP) where she talks with others about her sufferings at school.

The teenager is determined to continue her charity work alongside her music career.

Read our full interview with Roma here.

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